BBC News Discusses Vaccines with OVC Immunologist

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Prof. Shayan Sharif

Prof. Shayan Sharif, associate dean of research and and graduate studies at U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College, spoke to BBC Future about the challenges of creating vaccines that are effective in seniors.

Sharif said most vaccines are designed to be given to young children, not seniors and, as such, very few are designed for older populations.

Given that seniors often don’t mount strong immune responses from vaccines, Sharif said his best hope in the fight against COVID-19 is development of a therapy that could reduce hospital time from weeks to days, or eliminate the need for intensive care at all.

Sharif studies poultry immunology, including immunity and vaccine development against Marek’s disease virus and avian influenza virus.